Peterborough Northern Star Ladies kept up their impressive start to 2015 with another East Midlands League win yesterday (January 25).
They beat fellow Premier Division title contenders Nottingham Rise Park 4-1 at the Mick George Arena to make it four wins from four games in January with 18 goals scored amd just one conceded.
With first choice midfielders Sofia Aragosa and Vicky Gallagher ruled out, Star were forced to reshuffle the pack. They welcomed back Abby Young and gave newly-signed Lorna Hart her first team debut up front.
The visitors applied a fair bit of early pressure but Star’s centre-back pairing of Samara Iredale and Jess Farchica stood firm, allowing neither the ball or an opposition player to get past them.
Their domination meant that the full-backs were free to bomb on and support the attack and from a free-kick after 25 minutes from the right wing Star midfielder Sophie Hurst opened the scoring after the opposition failed to cleared their lines.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0 as again play on the right-hand side allowed full-back Jodie Bartle to burst into the area and hit a low drive straight past the keeper into the far corner of the net.
Coming out for the second half intent on finishing off the job, Star made it 3-0 after 70 minutes with Chanade Henderson finishing off a five-player passing move that she started and finished by slotting the ball past the keeper
However, after appearing to make the game safe Star switched off and allowed Rise Park a glimmer of hope after 80 minutes when poor defending on the edge of their own box allowed the visitors to pull one back.
This was the first goal the Star defence had conceded in 350 minutes of football this year - and the look of displeasure on keeper Aoife Bromley’s face said it all!
However, the perfect response was initiated as Star attacked straight from the kick-off and went down to the visitors’ 18-yard box and Hurst powered a shot home for her second and Star’s fourth after 82 minutes.
Star boss Steve Iredale said: “Considering we had to juggle the team around it took us a little time to settle but after we did then the football was very good and it was one-way traffic.
“However, we must not fall into the trap of dropping off the pace and thinking the game is won before 90 minutes is up. At 3-1 if Rise had scored a second goal instead of us scoring our fourth then it could have been a nervous last few minutes.
“The good thing is that the players who were here two years ago when we went on a run that nearly won the league are beginning to see similar signs of what is needed and are transmitting that across to the new players. As long as we win our games then the rest will look after itself.”